Filter Dissertations and Theses By:
IN THESE BONES THE ECONOMY OF THE WORLD: A MULTI-LOGICAL, MULTI-REPRESENTATIONAL CULTURAL STUDY
Year of Dissertation:
In this work I offer critical interpretations of street skaters, images in schools, collaborative writing and discourses on Muslims in schools. Employing a phenomenological, hermeneutic approach, I have thought back on my experiences, made claims and supported them hermeneutically. As I have (in the tradition of critical pedagogy) told stories of being in the world, a critical perspective has anchored these stories to broader social, political and economic frameworks. Axiological concerns are at the forefront of this work, and the "so what?" question implicitly weaves through it. I do not seek to provide the answers, but rather to illuminate, through example, that asking questions of that which is taken for granted and connecting these questions to issues of power is a valid undertaking. In a world of truncated educational "accountability" this work joins those that seek to offer a counterpoints. This dissertation explores work that has been done over the past three years in a variety of pedagogical contexts. As a manuscript style dissertation, it sews together freestanding texts with the thread of critical pedagogy. Each chapter (including half of the first chapter) has been published, only the last chapter (which discusses future work) is new. In each of these research projects I set out to use interdisciplinary and multi-textual approaches to focus on "other" ways of being in the world, and to question privileging practices and discourses that have been normalized in everyday life. As a bricolage, this work brings together multiple disciplines and theoretical discourses. I draw from a range of critical pedagogies and visual and literary methods. Throughout, I employ autoethnography as an entry point, to render accessible the worlds and worldviews that I seek to shed light on.
Homeland Security and Community policing: Shift in Federal Funding Post Sep. 11: From Community Policing to Homeland Security
Year of Dissertation:
In the aftermath of the 9/11, Homeland Security became the major model of the American Policing system, thus superseding community policing model. The purpose of this research is to use "before and after study design" to follow the grant trends of policing systems in order to examine whether the catastrophic events of 9/11 had a positive or negative impact on the grant funds of the mentioned policing models. Preliminary analyses revealed that there is significant difference in the mean level of funding prior and after the event for Homeland Security, community policing, and general policing programs. Segmented and Stepwise Regressions found a negative impact of the event on general policing funds and positive impact of the event on Homeland Security after the event, which shows the proof of shift in the policy. The event's impact on Homeland Security funds at the U.S level has a strong model. Furthermore, the regression confirms a statistically significant increase in Homeland Security fund trend for New York City after the event. Additionally, the study found the U.S general policing received less grant money before 9/11 than after the event at both the U.S and New York level. T-test indicated the significant mean level; and Segmented and Stepwise regression also predicted that the fund trend of Homeland security increased after the event. With the results from these analyses, it can be argued that the policing policy had a major shift after the event.
Power Supply Considerations for Capacitive Deionization Water Purification Systems
Year of Dissertation:
Professor Norman Scheinberg
This research is about the power supply considerations and energy recovery schemes in water purification systems utilizing the Capacitive De-Ionization (CDI) method. The first chapter is a general introduction about the ever rising need for water in the world. It also talks about the drive behind this research. The most common methods for water desalination are discussed in Chapter II. Then, the method of CDI is discussed in detail in Chapter III. The model, applications and design considerations for CDI are discussed. Energy recovery in desalination methods is talked about in Chapter IV, with emphasis on energy recovery in CDI. Then a novel method for energy recovery in CDI is presented, showing superior results to prior art. Simulation and experimental results confirmed the validity of the method, and are presented. Power supply considerations for the CDI method are presented in Chapter V. Then, a novel power supply scheme is suggested.
Marvel Comics and New York Stories: Anti-Heroes and Street Level Vigilantes Daredevil and The Punisher
Year of Dissertation:
Abstract This thesis argues that the creation of street level, vigilante heroes The Punisher and Daredevil created by Marvel Comics authors and illustrators in the late 1970s and early 1980s reflected the socio-economic environment of New York City at this same moment in history. By examining an era of New York that was fiscally and socially tense along with the development of characters created by the New York based Marvel Comics, I aim to show how their creation was directly related to the environment which they were produced in.
THE EFFECTS OF ENRICHMENT ON COGNITION IN RATS (RATTUS NORVEGICUS)
Year of Dissertation:
Abstract THE EFFECTS OF ENRICHMENT ON COGNITION IN RATS RATTUS NORVEGICUS by Amber A. Alliger Adviser: Dr. Peter Moller Animal models play an integral role in pharmaceutical research when developing drugs for human use. It is therefore imperative that animal models accurately represent human systems. In an attempt to reduce variability of test results, animals are often kept in barren, non-natural conditions. There is, however, a growing awareness that environmental enrichment will increase the validity of test results. The aim of the present study was to allow animals to control their environment using operant conditioning procedures, and to assess the effect of control on cognitive tasks. Four predictions were tested: 1. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) will control three stimuli (light, sound and a running wheel). 2. Animals will exhibit preferences for particular stimulus strengths. 3. Animals that exert control over the environmental stimuli will show increased performance in cognitive tasks compared to animals that lack control.4. Animals that can control environmental stimuli will have lower corticosterone levels than animals that lack such control, where corticosterone levels are used as an assessment of stress. Experimental subjects in both experiments did show control over a light stimulus, and performed significantly better in a discrimination task as compared with subjects that could not control their environment. There was no difference in corticosterone levels between control and experimental subjects. These results will contribute to an understanding how enrichment and control of environmental stimuli, in particular, affect the welfare of animals in captive environments, and aid in designing experimental conditions that will produce animal models that will increase validity and reliability in research.
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT THROUGH WRITTEN FEEDBACK: EXAMINING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS' WRITTEN FEEDBACK BELIEFS AND PRACTICES, AND THE EFFECT OF MODELS ON WRITTEN FEEDBACK
Year of Dissertation:
The current study explored three main aspects relating to the use of written feedback as a formative assessment tool: the types (form or content) of written feedback provided by elementary school teachers and the levels (task, process-Self-Regulation) at which those types of feedback are provided; whether elementary school teacher beliefs about written feedback principles and their own written feedback practice correspond to the actual written feedback they provide; and whether exposure to a model of written feedback influences teacher written feedback practice. Data were collected from 188 elementary school teachers spirally assigned to five groups (four treatment, one control). Treatment groups were exposed to different written feedback models and subsequently all teachers were asked to provide written feedback on a fifth grade student's social studies writing sample. All teachers responded to a demographic survey as well as a questionnaire containing a series of questions related to their beliefs about written feedback and their written feedback practice. Findings showed that elementary school teachers provided form type comments almost ten times more frequently than content type comments. Teachers' beliefs regarding feedback practices did not match the actual feedback provided on the Written Task. Specifically, teachers believed that they provide content written feedback more frequently than was reflected in their actual feedback. There was no statistically significant relationship between teacher beliefs about process-SR related feedback principles and the actual number of process-SR level comments teachers gave on the Written Task. Exposure to written feedback models influenced the levels of written feedback participants delivered. Group 1 (form and task) provided significantly more task level feedback than Group 2 (form and process-SR) or the control group. Further, trend level differences were found between Group 2 and Group 1, with Group 2 providing more process-SR comments than Group 1. No differences were found by written feedback type or between Group 3 (content and task) and Group 4 (content and process-SR). Study findings suggest that teachers would benefit from support geared towards enhancing their written feedback practice to provide more content comments at the process-SR level. Practical and classroom applications are discussed.
Effects of Phonological Neighborhood Density on Lexical Access in Adults and Children with and without Specific Language Impairment
Year of Dissertation:
Speech & Hearing Sciences
The present study was designed to examine how adults, children with typical language development (TLD), and children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) process words from sparse and dense phonological neighborhoods, using the Cross Modal Picture-Word Interference Paradigm. The participants were asked to label a picture presented on a computer screen, while ignoring auditory distractors (interfering words or IWs) presented over headphones. The target items were manipulated according to neighborhood density (high and low density words), and the auditory distractors were either identical to the target, a neutral distractor (good), phonologically related (by rhyme), or unrelated to the target item. The interfering words were presented either before the target item ( -750, -450, or -150 ms ) before the picture, or after the picture ( +150 ms ). Participants were asked to name the pictures as quickly as possible, while ignoring the auditory distractors. Reaction times and error rates were measured. Eleven children with SLI (6;5-10;1), ten children with typical language development (6;10-10;2), and 22 young adults participated in the study. The results revealed that adults demonstrated increased sensitivity to rhyme-related distractors in the Low Density condition only, reflecting less detailed phonological representations of low density words. Children with TLD and SLI both demonstrated less interference of related IWs in both the high and low density conditions. There were no significant group differences in reaction time or overall error rates. However, the SLI group produced significantly more errors on low density words than the TLD group. In addition, children with SLI demonstrated similar response time differences for the related and unrelated items for both density types, while the children with TLD appeared to benefit more from the related distractors in the low density condition. The results are discussed in relation to the Lexical Restructuring Model (Metsala & Walley, 1998).
The Vocal Behaviors of Captive North American River Otters (Lontra canadensis) Individual differences and shared repertoires
Year of Dissertation:
The current information on the vocal repertoire of the North American River Otter is very limited. To date there have been no direct studies conducted on their repertories. In this study, I examined the vocal behavior of 12 captive river otters. The discriminant function analysis suggests that river otters have 4 distinct call types with 7 sub-call types and one call the whistle is unique to one group of pups. The results of the Kruskal-Wallis comparing acoustical structures shows strong evidence for the presence of individuality with some individuals showing greater differences in comparison to the others. I also examined the differences in sexes and age groups, and the results show that unique calls are present, and there are significant differences across groups when comparing acoustical structures. Finally, I examined the uses of vocalizations, and the results show a positive correlation between the duration, max frequency, and max power of the call and the arousal state of the individual producing the call. Specific call types also showed tendencies to be produced when the individual was in a particular interaction (asocial or social) and when in a particular arousal state.
ROUTING PROTOCOLS ENHANCEMENT FOR DELAY TOLERANT NETWORKS
Year of Dissertation:
Routing in Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN) is active area of research and acquires the attention of researchers as being the most adequate solution for the problem of intermittently connection in Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANET). The challenge is to find a routing algorithm that can deal with dynamic environment causing networks to split and merge, considering nodes mobility. In this dissertation we enhance the performance of DTN routing protocols in Delay Tolerant Mobile Ad Hoc Networks by accomplishing the following goals to address the routing challenges: * Design a new probabilistic routing protocol based on history of encountered nodes. * Determination of strength and weakness of DTN routing protocols by comparison. * Enhancing DTN routing protocols by inclusion of study of the impact of link availability on performance of the DTN-based protocols * A Cross Layer Design (CLD) to enhance service quality of some common MANET-based routing protocols. v We have designed a DTN-based probabilistic routing algorithm using the concept of History of Encounters, HEPRA. Our routing protocol relies on the knowledge of the mobility of nodes and uses the history of encountered nodes to predict its future suitability to deliver messages to next node toward destination. The probabilistic routing approach is built on a store-carry-forward network to deliver messages to final destination in MANET environment. We evaluate the performance of HEPRA in various network environment behaviors. We present an evaluation and analysis of performances of some common DTN routing protocols including HEPRA in terms of different parameters in MANET environment. We illustrate the behaviors of the DTN routing protocols in terms of various parameters and variables. This evaluation presents the strengths and weakness of selected protocols. We study the impact of link availability as a parameter of the physical layer environment on the performance of DTN routing protocols. This study is the first research analysis of the impact of physical layer parameters on the performance of DTN routing protocols. We demonstrate through the simulation how those protocols act against changes in network environment. We propose a CLD to attain a reliable data transmission in MANET. We present a model that allows the network layer to adjust its routing protocol dynamically based on Signal Noise Ratio (SNR) and Received Power (RP) along the end-to-end routing path for each transmission link to improve the end-to-end routing performance in MANET environment. In this dissertation, we present the design basis for those contributions, illustrate and evaluate our design efforts, and discuss the advantages of our models.
DEVELOPMENT OF A NATURALISTIC OBSERVATIONAL PARENTING PRACTICE ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR EXTERNALIZING BEHAVIOR RESEARCH
Year of Dissertation:
Externalizing behavior problems have severe clinical implications. In fact, they have been found to be the primary basis for mental health referrals in early childhood. Findings from research on the etiology and development of externalizing behavior problems indicate these in addition to having significant effects throughout the life span effects also extend across multiple generations. Family and child development research consistently finds that one of the most significant modifiable factors in the prevention and treatment of externalizing behavior problems in early childhood is parenting practices. Unfortunately, much of the extant literature is limited by parenting measures that are prone to recall bias, impression management, and limited ecological validity. Furthermore, ethnic minority families and families of low socioeconomic status are greatly underrepresented in the research examining the relationship between parenting practices and externalizing behavior problems as well as in the research on the development of parenting measures and research methodology to further examine this relationship. The purpose of the current study was threefold: (1) to develop and validate a parenting coding system, the iPARENT, to assess naturally occurring parenting behavior data obtained by a novel recording device, the iEAR, in the home; (2) to identify and measure the degree of parenting practices empirically shown to increase the risk for child externalizing behavior problems in a sample of young mothers and examine how it relates to mothers’ self-report of their own parenting stress, parenting practices, and their children’s behavior as well as observed child behavior; and (3) to assess feasibility of iEAR and iPARENT use. An ethnically diverse sample of 89 college mothers and their one- to six-year-old children participated in the study. Mothers were recruited from a public Northeastern University via the college’s Child Care Center, flyers posted on campus, and in-person recruitment on campus. Mothers were a mean age of 24 years (SD = 2.92) and children were a mean age of 3.71 years (SD = 1.49); 57.3% of the children were male. Mothers completed self-report measures of parenting stress, parenting practices, and child behavior. Parenting practices and child behavior data were also obtained through iEAR observations and were coded according to the iPARENT coding scheme. Results indicated that the iPARENT is a reliable measure of parenting and child behaviors. On average, mothers spent 62% of their interactions with their children delivering information; 26% delivering commands (of which 62% did not give the child an opportunity to comply); 10% delivering criticisms; and .02% delivering praise. An exploratory factor analysis with a target rotation revealed that the iPARENT consists of a three-factor structure: “Warmth,” “Harshness,” and “Ineffective demands for compliance.” Convergent validity could not be established between the iPARENT and mothers’ self-report on the Parenting Scale; however, the iPARENT demonstrated good discriminant validity. A significant relationship was found between mothers’ self-reported parenting stress and observed negative affect and praise. Mothers’ engagement and critical remarks significantly predicted concurrent child noncompliance frequency. Harshness of mothers’ criticism significantly predicted concurrent child backtalk frequency. iPARENT assessed parenting practices were not found to significantly predict mothers’ reports of child misbehavior. However, post-hoc analyses revealed that for children ages four-years and older, iPARENT assessed noncompliance significantly predicted mothers’ reports of child behavior, suggesting that the iPARENT may be a more valid assessment tool for children at least four-years-old. Lastly, the iEAR was found to be feasible for research practices and to potentially assist with the retention of ethnic minority and low SES families in observational research. The iEAR and the iPARENT show potential in obtaining reliable and valid parenting and child behavior data of at-risk families. Further research is warranted to examine the iPARENT’s ability to discriminate between clinical and nonclinical samples. Also, further research should aim to replicate findings with other samples of ethnic minority families, fathers, and a larger sample of older children in order to generalize findings and further validate use of the iPARENT in child behavior research.